There is always a danger that an organisation can be too dependent upon one person. This can even go so far, so that the organisation is formed in the image of an individual.
What we always need to remember is that the church is the church of Jesus Christ. It is not my church or the elders church or such and such a person’s church; it is the church of Jesus Christ. He bought it with His blood, He watches over it with all His shepherd care and He determines its future. Every church leader should remember this and operate relentlessly to make sure this is known. Every leadership would benefit from having this verse as a motto He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:30).
This should not take away from the true honour that leaders should have in the church. So in 1 Thessalonians 5:13a we read that the church in respect of the elders should be Hold them in the highest regard in love. And we read in 1 Timothy 5:17: The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. Those who serve well in leadership should be honoured. To have a church with devoted elders who are honoured by the fellowship is beautiful.
However, this can so easily go too far. If there is a particularly gifted elder the honour can topple over into adulation. When this starts to happen then that person rather than being respected can become an idol. Both congregations and leaders need to make sure this does not happen. This is where other godly elders can be so important to the gifted man to make sure “his feet are kept on the ground.”
This all would lead me to what I have written about before (see here) and that is the danger of named ministries. These just seem to have a danger of creating a personality cult around someone.
(This post follows-on from my post of June 20th about Mrs May and Leadership – see here)